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Topic: Degree equivalency experiences  (Read 733 times)

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Degree equivalency experiences
« on: February 23, 2019, 04:02:59 AM »
Hello all,

I would love to hear others experiences with degree equivalencies from US to UK.
I hold a BA in Psychology and English, and will be receiving my Masters in School Counseling in May.
I haven't heard good things about UK NARIC and also read that my Masters is equivalent to a BA (Hons) in UK and that my Bachelors is only equivalent to a standard British Bachelors degree. This is disheartening.
Also, do most employers require that an immigrant have the UK NARIC statement of compatibility, how do I list my degrees on a CV?
The UK NARIC route is pricey, would love to avoid having to do that.

Thank you!


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Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2019, 06:30:55 AM »
Hello all,

I would love to hear others experiences with degree equivalencies from US to UK.
I hold a BA in Psychology and English, and will be receiving my Masters in School Counseling in May.
I haven't heard good things about UK NARIC and also read that my Masters is equivalent to a BA (Hons) in UK and that my Bachelors is only equivalent to a standard British Bachelors degree. This is disheartening.

It’s also not true.

It’s only high school qualifications that are different US to UK. Once you get to bachelors and masters degrees, they are considered to be the same in both countries.

See this table (on the UK government website, from NARIC):
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/696346/Overseas_degree_equivalency_table_-_updated.xlsx

It says that:

A US Bachelors with a 3.7 GPA is equivalent to a U.K. First Class Honours Bachelors degree

A US Bachelors with a 3.2 GPA is equivalent to a U.K. 2.1 (Upper Second Class) Honours Bachelors degree

A US Bachelors with a 2.6 GPA is equivalent to a U.K. 2.2 (Lower Second Class) Honours Bachelors degree

Also, a masters degree is a masters degree in both countries, and a PhD is a PhD in both countries.

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« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 06:40:09 AM by ksand24 »


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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 01:43:29 PM »
You shouldn’t need to do naric for emoloyment but may need to to get UK qualifications if you want to work in counselling.


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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 04:08:23 PM »
Oddly, my NARIC evaluation came in with some ...interesting... results.

I only went to grade 12 (Senior of High School, USA) for half-days for only 12 weeks, as they switched from a semester to a quarter system and I had enough credits to graduate in November instead of having to wait until the following June.  I took four "fluff" courses, to get the needed units. One of which was "Probability and Statistics", a course I should never have been enrolled into as I was completely unprepared and incapable of doing the work (dyscalcula). I got a D-, which was still not a "F" so I passed the course and got the units.  NARIC, when evaluating my high school diploma, said that I should be considered as having GSCEs only for the courses I took in year 12. (Totally disregarding the three years of advanced/accelerated English Literature, Latin, and Social Sciences I had taken in grades 9, 10, &11.) The thought of me having a GSCE in Probability and Statistics is seriously, seriously funny.  ;) ;D The teacher gave me credit for getting my name written on the papers, and showing up every day anyway.

They also considered me to have an "Honors" BA, without specifying "1st, 2nd, 3rd class". My overall GPA wasn't in the range quoted in a post above for a First Class, but I had twice the number of undergrad classes completed successfully as a typical BA holder would have, over a 15-year period, so perhaps that tipped the scales to have them just add "Honors" to the title without a level of "Honors"?

My professional Masters (similar to a MBA, but in a different field - a two year academic program with a half-year professional internship) was counted as a Master of Arts degree.  My degree is nothing like a MA here - it was entirely more rigorous, with more classes, and longer. But... whatever.

So, unless you really need the NARIC translation, I wouldn't consider them terribly useful and definitely overpriced. Probably not worth the bother for an employment situation - the employer I got the evaluation for told me after I'd paid for the evaluation that they only actually wanted to see my diplomas. (Not even the transcripts of courses taken or grades!)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 04:14:58 PM by Nan D. »


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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2019, 05:59:00 PM »
US High school is treated oddly here. I needed GCSE equivalents in English and Maths in order to apply for teacher training in the UK. I took (and passed) APs in English Language, US History, Calculus and Physics. These were treated as my only equivalent GCSEs. I have now TAUGHT A Level Physics which is in NO WAY equivalent to AP Physics - AP Physics definitely covers much more demanding content!!!! TBF, all APs were designed as equivalent to university courses, so should exceed A Levels.

But I needed GCSE equivalents, and I got them. I think it stems from the obsession with 'qualifications' (ie; bits of paper) that is rampant in the UK. It seems like you need an NVQ to do some filing!
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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2019, 08:04:48 PM »
NARIC is frustratingly snide about other countries' school systems. They CLEARLY think the UK's is the best and refuse to even attempt to understand any others. Don't bother unless you have to.

I asked my husband once what made an Honours degree different from a non-Honours one and he didn't know. He has an Honours degree.
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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2019, 08:16:03 PM »
NARIC is frustratingly snide about other countries' school systems. They CLEARLY think the UK's is the best and refuse to even attempt to understand any others. Don't bother unless you have to.

I asked my husband once what made an Honours degree different from a non-Honours one and he didn't know. He has an Honours degree.

I was told once it has to do with the school or program....  no idea if that’s true!


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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 08:40:22 PM »
I was told once it has to do with the school or program....  no idea if that’s true!

As I understand it, in England, to get Honours, you need to complete a full 3-year degree with a certain number of credits and a dissertation

If you either don’t quite pass enough credits for an Honours degree, or you don’t complete a final year dissertation, you may be awarded an Ordinary degree instead of Honours.

However, I think some universities now offer Ordinary degrees on their own.


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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2019, 02:14:17 AM »
Thank you for all your replies!


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Re: Degree equivalency experiences
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2019, 09:30:50 AM »
I recommend looking at the BACP or BPS and the HCPC councils for more info as to what you’d need to do to register with them. These are the main ones. It’s not an easy switch as there is no central body for psychology here and there are many routes into being a counselor or therapist. Good luck!


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